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tv   [untitled]    October 21, 2010 5:00pm-5:30pm PST

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this project is proposing over 5,000 new units of housing, 852, i believe, are all that have been identified as being affordable. i want to see how does this project, i would like to see more analysis from the staff on how this project does look at the housing needs that have been sort of identified for the city, not just in terms of the market rate units that this housing is going to be providing and the affordable units and how it helps us meet the needs or how it helps the reach the needs that have been identified in terms of the market rate housing, needs that we have and the affordable housing needs that we have. i would like to see more analysis in terms of how it addresses the needs that have been identified and that sort of thing. we have s.b. 375, i hear a lot
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of comments about how -- and there is plenty here, a sustainability plan, etc., etc., etc. and i would like a little bit more analysis even there. we have some stuff here, but i would like to have a little bit more in-depth discussion on how this does, in fact, look at the carbon footprint and the reduction of the carbon footprint and some of the issues that we are starting to look at in terms of developments this size. i don't have any strong feelings one way or the other. i would like more information. i would like that information up front before moving towards the approval of it. so i would like to have that hearing on the development agreement discussed a little bit more, how this plays into or doesn't the overall housing needs that have been identified for the city in terms of
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affordable housing needs, market rate. if we're going to be looking at increasing density in the city in an area, then i would like just a little bit more discussion and analysis of that. so that is kind of where i'm at, kind of in a similar place as commissioner moore. i apologize for not addressing these needs sooner or these questions that i have sooner, but i haven't been in town, so i would like to reverse the process a little, have a little bit more discussion, a little bit more analysis, a little bit more concerns that some of the public are raising addressed up front and then move towards the initiation and then move towards the possible approval of this project. but i would like to reverse the order of how that takes place. i would like more process up front before just automatically initiating for an approval on the 18th for a board of supervisors' approval and i just want to have more process up front as it relates to a
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project this size. president miguel: commissioner sugaya. commissioner sugaya: thank you. i don't want to sound like a broken record, but i'm in support of the other two commissioners' comments. initiating isn't as innocuous as people sort of try to make it out. once we initiate, we're supposed to be on this path which is in this other staff report in which commissioner olague says we will be considering the actual entitlements for this in less than a month. for me, i think following commissioner olague, i would like a lot more information up front. and unless -- the only way i could vote for initiation is if this schedule that is in here is totally thrown out the window and we initiate a whole series of planning commission workshops that deal with
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starting with perhaps each one of these p.r. documents that we have received. so transportation, sustainability, the design guidelines, the infrastructure report, i would like something from m.t.a. and other agencies on transportation and the whole implication around rerouting of the trolley lines and how that is going to work and what the intersection problems were. those were mentioned, i think, previously with respect to testimony on the e.i.r. which is another reason i would like to see the c and r document ahead of any initiation. so just as we had workshops and informational sessions on the other area plans, and this is the equivalent of an area plan in my mind, i would like to have staff analysis and not just documents that were received from the developer.
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i also would like to add that perhaps we should consider the request to have a meeting at parkmerced. we have only done that once in the five, 4 1/2 years that i have been on the commission and that's when we went to bayview hunters point at the southeast community center, but i think linda is looking at me, but that's ok. it seems like to serve the public process, we should get out of city hall every now and then, especially on something this significant. so i would like to have the commission consider that at some point when we move into some decision-making hearings. president miguel: commissioner antonini. commissioner antonini: well, thank you, i have a few different comments and questions. let's start with some of the questions that were raised. i guess the first is one
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speaker talked a little bit about seismic. that is something that will be analyzed in the e.i.r. that is not our subject for today, but it certainly is important to know and it will be discussed, the seismic concerns with the towers and the footing and the things that occur because i think the towers are meant to be preserved. so i'm sure that's not a subject for today. in terms of a would like to see -- and initiation is what it is. it means it's a beginning. it doesn't mean that you're obliged to do anything after that other than to begin the process. if some commissioners would like to have some hearings along the way and the timetable has to be moved a little bit back in time as to what's projected, that's always an option and, of course, the commission always makes a decision as to when the decision process is going to occur. so there is no reason why we cannot if we are not satisfied with what has been presented. but i think it's important to initiate today to begin moving
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forward. a couple of other things i think people talked a little bit about the project itself and the types of units there are and what this is providing is a large number of additional units, that being a resident of that area are badly needed because you have many particularly younger families who are looking for ownership situations and that will be possible for them to have in an affordable manner by design because you'll be putting in units that might be something that will meet their ability to pay. so i think that's important. and, of course, we do have a development agreement that is mentioned in these documents and i think it's something that does need to be done and i think from reading it, that is what the intention is. there were also some concerns voiced about some of the state laws and as you all -- most of you know, we approved a project on trinity plaza which are doing essentially the same
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thing which are being asked to be done here, and that is to preserve the rent control units for the renters that were there. i think that can easily be done. if it can't, you have to change state law, but we still have federal and state laws in this country that have precedent over local laws. i think that can be done as a development agreement and i will certainly think that's a matter for discussion. from what i'm reading here, this is exactly the intentional of the developers that would work out something that would preserve the rent control units. those are the key issues, but i see some other commissioners have some comments before i move to initiate, we'll see what they have to say. president miguel: commissioner borden. commissioner borden: i tend to agree with what commissioner antonini just said. i, too, share all of the concerns about the developer agreement. i want to see that document. i want to discuss that document. i like the idea of workshops. i absolutely think we should be doing those sort of workshops
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and look at the areas of the plan. commissioner antonini referenced trinity plaza. when i thought of this project, i thought of trinity plaza and the opportunity to do something to incorporate long-term rental housing, rent control and affordability and looking at things like that. usually initiation is a very procedural matter that we undertake. we have lots of projects and lots of times there is not any discussion at all. i would actually be fine with initiating and looking at how we change the schedule essentially so we can fit in workshops and other sort of things. president miguel: i would also be in favor of initiation at this point. even the motion that was prepared before us says on or after november 18. it may not be on november 18. i would like to see the process in play.
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i agree that there is a possibility of additional hearings. it's not out of line at all. the development agreement will be before us in two weeks. we will take a look at that. certainly trinity plaza did create a distinct known possibility as far as the current vendors are concerned and i would be interested to see any changes to that type of agreement that will be made. director. >> we have an informational hearing scheduled on november 4 specifically on the development agreement. it's the device that one of the speakers talked about the staff getting legal advice. we have had substantial legal advice that the development agreement, since it is a binding agreement between the
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developer and the city can address the issues of permanent affordable housing. that will be a specific discussion that will be in front of you in two weeks as well. if you choose not to initiate today, i would ask for specific direction on the types of hearings and the process that you would like to see from here on out. president miguel: commissioner moore. commissioner moore: i would like to hear from the project applicant rather than from staff of why this project is being rushed through. i would be all open to understand and support, but this particular project is thundering down the railroad track amidst every else we're doing. i mean if you look at today of what crossed our table today here, i don't think i have to repeat it and i do personally feel they don't do any justice to a project which has lots of promises, fantastic opportunities, but why isn't it done in a measured way including in a sequence of
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steps which are appropriate to such a project. i am only asking that. i sat in the camp for treasure island for 10 years. it was a step by step process which layered in all of the reasons and created a project which at least had a consensus and the basic understanding and support in the community. this one doesn't. and because i don't know all of its intricacies, i personally do not believe i can jump in and say i support initiation. that is asking too much from me personally. president miguel: commissioner olague. commissioner lee: i just want to -- vice president olague: i just want to say that historically, the issue that i had as commissioner sugaya pointed out, we didn't receive a lot of analysis from staff in terms of how this does or does not relate to the policies the city has laid out in terms of housing or even any reference to the m.t.a. or anything else. what happens here all the time
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is that we have never initiated something with the date of intended approval where that schedule has gone off track. i have never seen it. it didn't happen with any project that i have ever witnessed here. i think we need more time for this. i really do. even if it means going through each of these and having some actual for discussion, more analysis, that would be a start for me. commissioner moore: or a good presentation where you can ask questions. vice president olague: members of the public allowed to be present and that sort of thing. again, we have never really -- i have never experienced a project where we have done that, even with the others,
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there were more hearings on a lot of these biggers projects, hunters point shipyard, love it or hate it, we had additional hearings. i think just given the response that i'm hearing from a lot of members of the public, there are assurances that people need that kind of only be raised not so much through an approval hearing, but through hearings on different aspects of the project. president miguel: commissioner antonini. commissioner antonini: a few comments. first of all, i think it's important that when we talk about community support that he make sure we're talking about the entire community. i live in that area of the city and there are people that have talked to me about it. there are many hearings in neighborhood groups and there is a lot of support and i think the community is a broad group of people. so, i think that's the first thing, perhaps having a hearing out there may not be the worst thing, but certainly i think it's important that we get a good representation of all of
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the people who are involved in the project including those who live in the proximity of the project that may not actually live on the project site itself. and then the other question i would have for the other commissioners, i think if we initiate, i have heard, well, we need to have some hearings. the question i have is how many hearings do you want to have. for example, commissioner moore? commissioner moore: i believe that the team who designed this project is skilled enough to take two or three topics which are related into one hearing, be given sufficient time to present and respond to questions and answers. i could do it with two meetings. i would probably say there should be an introduction into the basic structure of the development agreement. i have a couple of questions relative to the length of time frame. i'm very concerned that a development agreement spanning 30 years goes far beyond any out of the box thinking any of us can do. i'm not at a point where i can
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think 30 years ahead, perhaps you can. there are questions like that i would like a soft touch introduction into how you're structuring it, what your objectives are that we can support you. this commission is not here to ding this project. i need to say that loud and clear. this project just needs to be brought into the basic procedural kind of similarities to what we have done on other large projects, that's all. >> thank you, commissioner. well, whatever is the will of the commission is fine, if we feel two or three hearings would be appropriate, i think that would be fine. we had a lot of hearings. there was a demand for hearings on hunters point and we had quite a few of those. sometimes the people didn't show up, but we had the hearings anyway. i think that it's wise that we do this because we want the public's questions answered. so with the consent of staff and development, community
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involved in this, we can schedule those and consistent with and and these have to be herald before we take any action. this has been going on for quite a while. it's been a few years that this has been in process. this has not come up overnight. i have been in a lot of meetings over the last few years with discussions of this project in the neighborhood. i think the outreach has been extremely good. maybe there haven't been as many hearings here at the planning commission. we have had two so far. could i talk to perhaps mr. yarney, could you weigh in on that? i think commissioner moore had some questions on this and perhaps we can know a little bit about the scheduling if that is something that can be doable. >> good afternoon, commissioners, michael yarney, economic of workforce development. i do want to limit my comments by reminding the commissioners and president miguel and vice president olague that several
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months ago, the planning department and the project sponsor had requested to do a series of additional informational presentations. it comes at somewhat of a surprise to us because that was an early request that was made on our part precisely to avoid this exact circumstance that we are apparently confronting today, which is some commissioners feeling they don't have adequate information. there is a lot of information. i will say that all staff were anxious to share and there is a lot to go over. i myself have expressed this concern repeatedly previously because it is, i think nobody is going to pretend this is not a complex set of documents and there is a lot to discuss. i do want to convey that because i think a lot of us who have been putting a lot of hours into this are feeling some measure of concern just because we were under the impression that those informational presentations were not wanted. we are happy, more than happy
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to give those. on that topic, on november 4, it's my intention working with planning department staff to go through in great detail the mechanics, the structure of the development agreement beginning with an overview of how they're used in california, the length or period of years that one sees for these things, why one would want a long period of years particularly with a large scale infrastructure investment of what is proposed at parkmerced. and then take you through all a development phase application would be reviewed by all city staff and ultimately approved, how individual design review applications for each building or community improvement would be reviewed and take you through the end of the buildout of the project and we'll do this through a series -- you have a copy of the development agreement that was distributed today, i believe, at 2:00 per
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your request, president miguel. we will also break down the development agreement into a series of flow charts to demystify it. it is an 80-page legal document. i would not call it easy reading. i'm more than happy to do that. and we work extensively with the city attorney's office and with others on the language surrounding both the tenant relocation plan and the g.m. r. requirements and we continue to consult with the experts in the city's attorney's office and the rent board. we have met with staff attorneys and the executive director of the rent board. we have collected all of their feedback and incorporated it into the draft that you have that was distributed today and we will continue to work with those agencies. it is our hope as well now that we have the draft distributed and it is public that we can also sit down with the tenants rights advocates that spoke
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today and go through in detail the program as it's laid out. i will assure you, we would never promote or pursue an agreement that we think is going to put tenants on the street or going to jeopardize long-term tenants and their rights. it is not our intention and nothing in this development agreement, to my knowledge, does that. that is not the developer's intention and certainly not our intention or anyone who is working on the project. finally, i would like to make one more point which is a considerable amount of staff input from other agencies is involved, too. all of the documents that were distributed in that large packet, all of those plan documents have received extensive review and input and edits from i think at this point six agencies, sfmta, sfbpw, the p.u.c., the planning department, the fire department, department of the
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environment, to some measure the review from the mayor's office of housing and the rent board and we have been in touch with state agencies as well. so there is a ton of staff and city input that is represented in those documents and i did want to bring that up in particular because commissioner sugaya i think raised the concern that staff had not done independent analysis and i would like to point out that the staff has been involved in reviewing and editing all of these documents and we would not accept that without such input. commissioner antonini: thank you. i make a suggestion that you work with mr. switzky and project sponsor and come up with something that would be acceptable as far as these informational hearings and work with president miguel and vice
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president olague and any other commissioners to be able to put together a schedule that would be acceptable and we initiate that today and you work with the parties i named to get a schedule put together for the hearings. >> if the commission would like, we would include representatives of the respective agencies on the various topics. >> sure. >> what we'll do then is forward, if it's appropriate, i can forward to the planning director. we can do it together, but we can do it by topic area if that is what the commission would like. i think we could do it by the plan documents. i guess we can have this conversation offline. >> one of the questions i have is whether the commissioner wants to keep the november 4 hearing date, whether it would be an informational hearing on the 18th. it would be helpful to know the rough schedule that we're talking about here. >> personally, i would
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recommend having that. i hear so many comments made about it. president miguel: we should keep the hearing on the 4th. >> we don't want to take anything away. it's wise to do that it's not all inclusive but you know what is being proposed. >> you will have had it for two weeks prior to the 4th. president miguel: i'm sorry, you're not in order. commissioner moore: if i may ask, the development agreement is the legal packaging of a project describing the interaction between the developer and the city, right? without having the full detail which we are all definitely want to have, can we follow you because i would like to see somebody, perhaps mr. switzky
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can make a decision as to what the best grouping of topics is. there is many ways to skin a cat but there is a layering way to do that. i would rather be fully knowledgeable in the plan. i come from a good knowledge of a solid plan, i have a much more ability to say this is really solid, this sounds good. it's kind of like building a structure without knowing what the foundations are. i would greatly appreciate if you would give us the opportunity, the least i'm talking for myself not being a lawyer, if we can perhaps have the other meetings beforehand. >> since we're not going in any kind of order, i'm just going to jump in. for me, initiation sends a message that we're ready to accept all of this stuff that's in here, maybe not accept it, but at least we have read it all and we feel comfortable with it.
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commissioner antonini, i am voicing my opinion here. and that's my problem with initiation at this point. i have questions about transportation, there are questions about all of this stuff that was raised before and, you know, staff may have given some input here, but craig hartman signed this thing, all right. is this the city's vision for this particular area? i don't think so. i think it's the developer's vision. if the city's vision the same, i would like to know if that is true and how that affects this particular document. i think that commissioner olague's statement, i forget of exactly how she put it, but if the vision is here -- what is the city's vision for housing out here? >> commissioner, we never prepared the document -- commissioner sugaya: the implication is staff has gone through it and offered it and things have been changed. >> we are the authors of the
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development agreement. commissioner sugaya: i'm not talking about the development agreement. >> we are never the ones to prepare architectural drawings in proposed project. commissioner sugaya: we have no staff analysis. >> that's because this is only initiation. commissioner sugaya: i don't want to initiate it unless i hear things from the staff. >> the question is assuming we're not going to initiate today, we will keep a hearing on november 4. i would like specific direction if it's on the development agreement or another aspect of the project and we will come back to you with specific recommendations on the topic for future hearings. commissioner moore: take the vision plan, take the sustainability plan and the guidelines as one package followed by transportation and infrastructure or which ever way the team, staff, and since the architect feels it best can
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describe and can most convincingly describe the project, that is what i would suggest. president miguel: if i'm reading the commission correctly, and i don't always, i'm making a presumption that the development agreement should not be heard on the 4th, that the other items should be scheduled first. and after that, the development agreement. am i -- commissioner moore: you are correct in my interpretation. >> sure, you know. honestly, i think what part of the problem at least is -- what i guess i wanted to clarify, too, for the public, when i was approached by staff -- vice president olague: i was told that the developer wanted to meet with different commission members to discuss the project. what i felt was implying -- i
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said what the issues that we raised at the hearing were issues that related to the affordability piece, to the piece around the development agreement and to the rental units. if that's not what the focus of this discussion that the developers want to have with me personally is about, i'm not interested in meeting with them. i'm not being interested in being sold on a project right now. i want the specifics around the development agreement. that's what i said to the staff at that time. so it wasn't like i was told -- it was not presented to me totality that, oh, the developer want to come before the commission to have meetings with the public so the public can hear about this project and discuss it and talk about the phasing of the project which was an issue that we had raised before. there were issues about the specifics around the project that related to the phasing and other aspects of the project that had been raised. so when i felt like i was just going to be sitting there and being sold on a project that none of these issues around that we had been raising here, i wasn't
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